Friday, September 22, 2017

Tacoma CEO Wolfe Wins Connie Award

By Karen Robes Meeks

The Containerization & Intermodal Institute (CII) has given its 2017 Connie Award to John Wolfe, CEO of The Northwest Seaport Alliance and the Port of Tacoma, and International Trade Education Programs, Inc. CEO Amy Grat.

The pair were honored Tuesday at an award dinner in Long Beach, where the Intermodal Association of North America was also having its Intermodal EXPO this week.

The awards spotlight those who made “outstanding contributions to containerization and world trade and transportation sector and are acknowledged for their pioneering spirit in their careers, as well as for the positive example they establish for those who will be the future the industry,” according to the release.

“CII is fortunate that in the 45 years of presenting the Connie Award, we continue to honor those who have positively impacted our industry and its reputation,” said CII President Michael J. DiVirgilio. “The different routes that John Wolfe and Amy Grat have taken on this journey have earned them the distinct honor of being recipients of this prestigious award.”

Wolfe, who has been CEO of the Port of Tacoma since 2010, is a veteran in the industry, having spent 10 years with Maersk Sealand/APM Terminals in Tacoma performing various roles such as terminal operations manager. Previously he served the Port of Olympia as director of operations and marine terminal general manager before becoming its executive director.

Grat, who has been CEO of ITEP since 2010, is developing the future industry leaders by partnering with supply chain stakeholders to give high school students a taste of career opportunities in these sectors.

Awards for LA Port Information Portal Project

By Karen Robes Meeks

The Port of Los Angeles has garnered a pair of technology awards for its Port Information Portal Project, a pilot program run in partnership with GE Transportation, to digitize the movement of goods for efficiency.

The City of Los Angeles Information Technology Agency honored the port with the “2017 Outstanding IT Project Award,” while the American Association of Port Authorities will bestow its “Information Technology Award” on October 4.

“We greatly appreciate the Port’s confidence in our digital technology, and for championing such an important innovation with so much potential for the broader supply chain ecosystem,” said Jamie Miller, president and CEO at GE Transportation. “As we continue to improve the solution based on the feedback we’ve heard from the pilot participants, we’re especially honored to be recognized by both the City of Los Angeles and the maritime industry for our involvement and commitment to this successful public-private partnership.”

The program, which began last November, will spread to all container terminals and shipping lines in Los Angeles in the months ahead. Encouraged by the program’s success, the port and GE Transportation agreed to $12 million in new commercial agreements to expand the program to the rest of the port over the next five years.

“For the first time, we have we been able to provide supply chain partners with timely access to cargo and shipping information from a single interface,” said port Executive Director Gene Seroka. “As we expand this project throughout the port, we’re optimistic that we’ll see significant efficiency gains throughout our supply chain operations.”

Long Beach Busy in August

By Karen Robes Meeks

The Port of Long Beach saw its second-busiest August in history when it moved 692,375 TEUs last month, 8 percent more than the same time last year and the third highest month ever in volume, according to the port’s latest numbers.

The nation’s second busiest seaport also saw double-digit growth in imports with 355,715 TEUs, a 10 percent increase when compared to August 2016.

“We are on pace to have our highest import year ever and one of our best years, period,” said Harbor Commission President Lou Anne Bynum. “Our inbound traffic during this peak season signifies optimism among retailers for the holiday season. Simply put, shoppers are buying more, and retailers are restocking their shelves.”

Meanwhile, changes in vessel alliances caused August exports to fall 26.3 percent to 117,290 TEUs year over year.

Port of Seattle Housing on Industrial Property

By Karen Robes Meeks

The Port of Seattle Commission this month voted to turn the former Tsubota industrial property into a temporary camp for the homeless as a way to help community groups and the city of Seattle address a major regional issue.

As many as 80 residents and their tents and small structures would be able to establish residency at the 1601 15th Ave. West property for two years beginning in November, the port said.

The commission approved the lease on September 12 with the City of Seattle, which will provide services such as electricity, water, garbage disposal and other utilities.

The property will serve as the new temporary location for Tent City 5, which is just north in the Interbay neighborhood at 3234 17th Avenue West.

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Busy August for the Port of Los Angeles

By Karen Robes Meeks

The Port of Los Angeles last month had its busiest August and second-busiest month in port history, according to its latest statistics.

The nation’s busiest seaport moved 847,857 TEUs, 6.1 percent more than in August 2016. This breaks the port’s previous record, which was established last year when it handled 798,932 TEUs.

August 2017 was close to breaking the port’s all-time high of 877,564 TEUs recorded in November 2016.

Los Angeles also handled 432,479 TEUs in imports last month, a 5.1 percent increase from the same period last year and moved 159,197 TEUs in exports, a four percent jump.

“We are grateful to our terminal operators, labor force, supply chain stakeholders and our cargo owners for the record-breaking container volume trend we have been experiencing over the past 20 months,” said Port of Los Angeles Executive Director Gene Seroka. “We plan to build on this momentum and confidence by focusing on innovative new ways to improve efficiencies, including a first-of-its kind information portal system with GE Transportation that will be introduced at all of our container terminals in the coming months.”

Los Angeles is nine percent ahead of 2016 within the first eight months of 2017, an indication that the port may likely surpass its record-breaking 8.8 million TEUs from last year.

Northwest Seaport Alliance Wins Logistics Award

By Karen Robes Meeks

For Logistics Management’s 2017 Quest for Quality awards, the Northwest Seaport Alliance, which is made up of the ports of Seattle and Tacoma, recently earned the highest rank on the US West Coast and second overall in the West Coast category from the magazine’s readers.

Voters, many of whom are logistics and transportation service buyers, based their decision on “ease of doing business, value, ocean carrier network, intermodal network, and equipment and operations,” according to the Alliance.

A port needed at least five percent of the category vote to win and the Northwest Seaport Alliance was among three West Coast ports to achieve that result.

“Through all of this preparation for an uncertain future, LM [Logistics Management] readers tell us that these North American ocean gateways continue to step up with world class service despite a still unsettled global ocean freight market,” the magazine stated.

Winners were announced in the magazine’s August issue.

Port of Seattle Social Program

By Karen Robes Meeks

Tenants at the Port of Seattle are going strawless this month.

More than 100 Seattle eateries, including those at seaport locations, are taking part in Strawless in Seattle, a month-long effort to support the Lonely Whale Foundation’s Strawless Ocean endeavor to eliminate 500 million plastic straws from the waste stream this year.

Those who want a straw will be given a paper one that can decompose in 45 to 90 days.

“As a marine life researcher, I know firsthand that efforts like Strawless in Seattle help improve the health of oceans,” said Port of Seattle Commissioner Fred Felleman. “The Port of Seattle’s Fishermen’s Terminal is the home of the North Pacific fishing fleet, and through Sea-Tac Airport, our cruise and maritime facilities we host millions of travelers who come here to experience our natural environment. Port industries and their employees depend upon healthy oceans and supporting this effort fits our mission to improve the health of our environment and community.”

Participants on the waterfront include:
• Fisherman’s Terminal: Chinook’s Restaurant, Highliner Pub
• Anthony’s Pier 66
• Shilshole Marina Jibe Espresso
• World Trade Center (Alaskan Way), Bell Harbor Conference Center (Pier 66), Clipper CafĂ© (Pier 69)

Visit for more details.

Coos Bay Dredging

By Karen Robes Meeks

The public will have until October 3 to weigh in on the environmental impacts of the Port of Coos Bay’s plans to make the Federal Navigation Channel deeper and wider.

The US Army Corps of Engineers, which must sign off on the project, is putting together the environmental impact statement for the modifications, which involve deepening the channel from 37 to 45 feet and widening it from 300 to 450 feet from the channel entrance to river mile 8.2.

The public can send written comment by mail or email to the Army Corps of Engineers, which is analyzing the environmental effects of the project.

Funded through private and public funds, the $350 to $400 million project would allow for larger ships to enter the port and make navigating the channel easier.

If all the necessary permits are obtained, the port could begin dredging as soon as late 2019. The project is scheduled to be completed by 2022. Visit for more information